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The Local Last Glacial Maximum along the Patagonian Andes: a composite geographic, geochronologic and modeling approach

Project Leader
Lüthgens Christopher, BOKU Project Leader
FONDECYT - Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico
Type of Research
Basic Research
Project partners
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago De Chile, Chile.
Contact person: Juan Luis Garcia (PhD);
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Applied Geology
Funded by
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Moneda 1375, Santiago de Chile, Chile
In order to understand the mechanisms underlying the climate cycles that have punctuated the Quaternary period, we need to unravel the geographical extent and test for interhemispheric phasing of glacial events. New glacier records from southern Patagonia suggest that maximum glacial extent during the last glacial cycle occurred sometime during the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. In this context, new data from the southern mid-latitudes in Patagonia, and New Zealand, reaffirm the important unsolved question regarding the timing, structure and duration of the local glacial maximum in the southern mid-latitudes: When did the local glacial maximum occur in the region? Why have only scattered sites in Patagonia revealed glacial expansion during MIS 3? Is the new glacier evidence from these scattered southern Patagonian sites a local anomaly or have we not yet completely unraveled the complete configuration of the southern Andean LGM? In this regard, the main goal of the research project is to determine the timing of the local last glacial maximum along the Patagonian Andes (43-55ºS). In order to accomplish this objective the proposed research includes the following interconnected approaches: glacial geomorphology, glacial stratigraphy, geochronology and glacial modeling. By selecting sites along a latitudinal transect we aim to include the latitudinal as well as the local factors that may control the Patagonian glaciation. We address this issue by applying a 3D Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM), constrained by precise mapping and well-dated glacial landforms. We will apply 10Be exposure-cosmogenic dating on boulders resting on moraines, OSL and 10Be dating in glaciofluvial sediments. We expect our composite approach will allow us to bracket the timing of the local LGM extent in Patagonia and thereby test for regional, hemispherical and global phasing of maximum glaciation during the last ice age.
Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Geochronology; Glaciology; Environmental research;
Andes; Chile; Last Glacial Maximum; Patagonia; Glacial Cycles;
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